Impact Visits Philadelphia Union Saturday Night
CHESTER, Pennsylvania - The Montreal Impact will be back in action after a week off from the league's regular calendar, this Saturday at 7:30pm, when it visits the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium (TVA Sports, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690).
"We have an opportunity to get closer to a direct opponent," said head coach Rémi Garde. "It won't be easy, but we know that nothing is impossible in this league. Philadelphia is a team we know well now, that I watched again and that is very solid. We're going to base ourselves on the values we were able to develop and put into action in our last game."
Starting where they left off
After Montreal's excellent performance against the Red Bulls, two weeks ago at Stade Saputo, Rémi Garde's men want to build on the confidence earned in that victory against the best team in the league. Motivated by the predictions made by MLS' experts, who all excluded the Impact from their postseason prognostics, the Bleu-blanc-noir's players know that their matchup against Jim Curtin's troops is crucial.
"It's not a must win from a points perspective, but I think that's a dangerous mindset to get into, because if you deemphasize a game like this and don't go out to try and win it, it's a tough switch to try and flip when it really does count," said defender Daniel Lovitz. "I don't think that's a thing we want to do. I know the guys want to go there and try to win against this team, and that's what we're focused on."
Rarely beaten in Philadelphia
The Bleu-blanc-noir is unbeaten in its all four games in Pennsylvania, a sequence that began in 2015. In its last visit to Talen Energy Stadium, the Impact earned its first and only victory by a 3-0 score line. All in all, in eight games in the Keystone State, Montreal has a record of one win, two losses, and five draws against the DOOP.
"These are going to be difficult games, starting with the one this week," said midfielder Samuel Piette. "Philadelphia is on a good streak. They're four points away from us. We could get a lot closer with a win there. I remember last year in my first game, we won 3-0 in Pennsylvania, so it's definitely not impossible. I think we're in a good moment right now - our attitude and team spirit are at a high. I think it's the perfect game to go and get a result against a team in front of us in the standings."
This solid global record against the Union can among other things be explained by the performances of Designated Player Nacho Piatti against the Philadelphians: the Argentine has scored four goals and added three assists in seven games. Montreal's forwards, on their end, are also decisive against the representatives from the City of Brotherly Love. Anthony Jackson-Hamel has two goals in four games against Jim Curtin's troops; Matteo Mancosu also has two goals in six games against Philadelphia; Quincy Amarikwa, on his end, has a goal and an assist in 15 games against the Union.
"There are six games left to play, and they're all going to be like the one coming up," said Nacho Piatti. "We must think only of ourselves. It's a big game Saturday. If we take points in Philadelphia and continue moving forward, we can qualify for the playoffs. That's all we're thinking about. We need to continue working and have a big game in Philadelphia."
The Impact continues its race to the playoffs by hosting New York City FC at Stade Saputo on Saturday, September 22 at 7:30pm (TICKETS - TVA Sports), before visiting Audi Field for the first time in another crucial game on Saturday, September 29 at 7pm (TVA Sports).
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